To most of us golf seems like a deliberate, planned exercise where we act on the ball or we initiate the motion. Unlike baseball where we react to the ball hit our way or the pitch thrown at us; or tennis where we react to the serve of the opponent, in golf it seems there is no need to REACT simply because the ball is just sitting there. You could not be more mistaken.
In golf every shot we hit, every stroke we make, is a reaction to one of two things:
- Either the shot you have just hit.
- Or the shot you usually hit!
If you slice the ball, you will instinctively aim or swing to the left. If you hook the ball, you will instinctively aim or swing to the right. What’s more, these are involuntary responses; knee jerk reactions, not at all dissimilar to ducking from something coming directly at our head!
This is the very reason you are having difficulty with your alignment. I see no end to golfers on the lesson tee who think they are aimed at the target and, in fact, are not even close. And it’s not just aiming that is the problem. If, for example, you release the club too early in your downswing, you will instinctively pull up through impact. The problem is you are not aware you’re doing this! Unless it’s observed in a golf lesson or on video, you will never know the problem or the extent of it.
What to do? First of all, take a lesson. Get a look at your swing on video. You will be amazed at what you see! The only way to properly correct these flaws is to change the ball flight that causes them. The correction for a slice is hook. If you want to change your left-aiming, left-swinging habits, you need to start drawing or even hooking the ball. Your pro will help will this, but the sooner you do it the better. You probably have years of that ugly, over-the-top move that has held you back for so long, so get started with a lesson to correct it.
Remember this: YOUR DESIRE TO HIT THE BALL AT THE TARGET WILL ALWAYS EXCEED YOUR CAPACITY TO AIM AT IT!
Director of Golf, PGA Master Professional
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort